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Tear it Down or Fix it Up? Will anything ever happen at former Bombardier plant?

The former Bombardier Transportation plant has sat vacant on the west side of Auburn for 11 years (Brett Hall/CNYCentral.)

More than a decade after its closure, owners of the former Bombardier Transportation plant still don’t have definite plans for the massive factory.

Workers for Bombardier Transportation built diesel engines and transportation equipment until the plant closed in 2006. The closure ended a 120-year history of diesel engine manufacturing at the site. It was 1886 when the McIntosh & Seymour Diesel Engine Company opened its doors, according to the Cayuga County Historian's office. The current buildings were built by ALCO in the late 1940s.

The complex totaling 232,000 square feet of working space is assessed at $1 million and still owned by Bombardier Alco Power Inc., according to the online property records. The Cayuga County Economic Development Agency lists the property as one that "the owner would be interested in leasing." However, neighboring businesses say they never get their hopes up.

"I see groups of people go in there from time to time. You always think something is going to happen, but nothing ever happens," Brian Indelicato, owner of Indelicato's Old Fashioned Meat shop, said. "My opinion, in all honesty, would be to tear it down I think."

However, Mayor Michael Quill told CNYCentral.com there has been considerable interest in reusing the sprawling facility.

"We have had several people try to make deals," Quill, D-Auburn, "but it seems [Bombardier} backs out at the last minute with no explanation."

CNYCentral.com reached out to the worldwide company to ask if there was any truth to the Mayor's claims and any plan for the facility that is still patrolled by Bombardier-hired security.

"We are still exploring our options,” a spokesperson for Bombardier said. “I have nothing more to add right now.”

The short response, even the spokesperson admitted, was vague.

CBS5 is On Your Side, bringing attention to prominent eyesores in Central New York.

Tear it Down or Fix it Up features structures that once were "the place to go or work" but are now neglected. To submit your idea, email us with a picture of the eyesore at news@cnycentral.com.


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